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Border War - Turn 6
In turn 5 the attacking Pakistan/China side finally took a VP lead, but can they hold it as Indian reinforcements finally get into the action?
The roll results in "Overcast" conditions for the 2nd turn in a row.
Pakistan/China side got over the initiative VP number of 20VP last turn, so they are rewarded with a second initiative turn in a row.
The dice are jammed or something, so only one successful attempt (on the Indian XI corps) out of 8 total attempts.
1st SOF Phase
Four missions total. A target mission on another nuke site fails. Three recon missions result in one success. Two of 4 teams are lost, so down to just 2 PRC teams for the Pakistan/China side.
The relatively good weather and the Indians' desperation to get their reinforcements on lead to a maximum effort by both sides. The Indians and Russians put 9 squadrons into the air superiority box. Having AWACS advantage, the Pakistan/China side can see this, and then chooses to match it one-for-one.
The air battles do more damage this turn. In Long-Range combat the 4 Chinese stealth units do well, aborting one Indian Tejas and shooting down a Mirage 2000 unit. In stand-off, the two sides trade 14 shots total, with the dice favoring the Pakistan/China side. They score two Damage/Abort results and two Ad results. The Indians can only muster 3 Ad results in return. In the dogfights the Pakistan/China luck continues and they score 3 aborts and one damage result to just one damage from the Indians. Final results are 6 squadrons left for Pakistan/China to 4 for India/Russia. So, at 1.5:1 they hold onto "Advantage" air superiority status and the AWACS level remains at +4.
Three missions. A recon mission finds a critical Pakistan depot on the left flank of the front in Punjab. A raid on the airfield with the Pakistan AH-1 helo finds the mark, scoring a "2" result and the team getting home. An interdiction mission in the high mountains in Pakistan has no effect. All 3 teams survive.
1st Strike Phase
Pakistan fires its one missile at an Indian airbase, but misses. The PRC cruise missile attack on a nuke site also misses big time. The Indians return fire with 3 missiles, all targeting airbases. Terrible dice results in 3 total misses. The Russian cruise missile attack scores a "1" hit on a supply depot, but 1 hit doesn't reduce its supply capability much.
Each side launches one big air strike mission each. The Chinese target the already "2" damaged Indian nuke site in 3120.
The Chinese Su-30s make it through the SAM fire, but the dice let them down and they both miss.
The Russians go after the supply depot that is supplying the big Pakistan push into the left flank of Indian line, with a Tu-22 and Su-24 going in.
Unfortunately for the Russians, the Pakistani SAM operators are very much awake and dialed in. Both squadrons get aborted before they can hit the target.
1st Supply Phase
In Kashmir the Chinese 44th airborne division is out of supply since it can't use the airfield for airborne supply yet due to it being too damaged (a "2" marker). Emergency resupply efforts don't go too well, with just one of three brigades getting the supply drops. In the Jammu highlands the Indian side goes entirely OOS due to the loss of the depot last turn. That takes the XVI corps HQ out of action.
At the start of initiative movement, the Chinese 43rd airborne division drops into the Kashmir Valley (with a J-20 escort). The Indian SAMs miss and the division(-) lands in good order in hex 4214. That makes two PRC airborne divisions near Srinagar, leaving the Indian defenders in Kashmir in danger of being surrounded.
In combat phase the Pakistan/China side pushes hard, launching 4 attacks, but with limited results. Near Jammu/Trikuta Nagar the Pakistan XXX corps succeeds in taking out the Indian II corps bridgehead in 3316, with an 8 column attack getting a retreat/flip on the defending Indian armored brigade. Up in the Jammu highlands the Chinese 45th airborne and Pakistan X corps launch yet another attack on the town of Rajouri. They get a decent 9 column attack, but Indian air support and difficulties coordinating the attack result in a muddled 1/- result. The Indians hold the town, for now.
Elite Reaction Movement
Only minor moves on the Indian side, which doesn't have many 6 EF units left.
In exploit movement the Pakistan XXX corps makes a desperate push to try to take the critical town of Udhampur (3516). They leave their flank exposed, but hope to grab the town and supply depot before the Indians can hit back in the react phase. In Kashmir the newly arrived (and thus supplied) Chinese airborne division moves into position to attack Srinagar.
Despite the negative column shifts in combat, the Pakistan/China side continues to press on with as many attacks as possible, hoping for some good dice to get decisive results. However, the dice aren't quite good enough. The attack on Udhampur is a decent 6 column attack, but even a good roll (a "2") only gets a 1/1 result, but not the retreat result needed. The attack on Srinagar goes in as a desperate 4 column affair, with the two sides putting in good air units that end up canceling each other out. Another good roll (another "2") gets a middling 1/1 result as well. Also in Kashmir the the FCNA corps continues to chip away at the Indian XIV corps, with a 1/1 result in the high mountain pass in 4709 eliminating one defending Indian brigade.
The Indians start to position for counter-attacks later in the turn, but do launch two attacks at exposed Pakistani units. Near Ferezopur in the center of the line in Punjab, the fresh Indian 33rd armored division goes into action, with two artillery brigades in support. It overwhelms a Pakistani infantry brigade, eliminating it for +1VP. Elsewhere the Indian II corps attacks near the nuke site / airbase hex in 3120. A 9 column attack gets does just enough damage to eliminate another Pakistani brigade for another +1VP.
Both sides are running out of ammo. The PRC fires off a cruise missile at the damaged Indian nuke site in 3020. This time they nail it with an X result, getting +5VP and costing the Indians a nuke point. Russian missiles miss a damaged depot, so the supplies keep flowing to the Pakistan II and XXXI corps in action near Bathinda (1621).
No significant changes.
1st Basic Movement/Combat
A final big push on all fronts. At Bathinda the Pakistanis make an attempt at getting the city, but Indian air support gets through and they only manage a 1/1 result against the lone defending Indian mechanized brigade. They also take a stab at the cutoff city of Jammu, but can only manage a 4 column attack due to the rivers and rough terrain. A poor roll of 8 earns the Pakistanis a painful 2/- result, eliminating the 214th infantry brigade in the process. The dinged up PRC airborne divisions take another try at Srinagar but more bad dice lead to a 1/0 result, so the defenders stand firm.
2nd Basic Movement/Combat
The Indian counter-attacks finally ramp up. However, first comes a daring (desperate? panicked?) airborne drop into Kashmir by the Russian 106th airborne division, escorted by Su-35s. The Chinese get an "early detect" result and send in a J-20 stealth fighter. However, the dice favor the Russians and after three rounds of combat the J-20 heads home damaged. The Su-35s do some barrel rolls. The Pakistani SAMs also miss, so the Russian airborne gets into the valley in good order, despite the odds against it. Another Russian airborne brigade manages to airmobile assault into the valley as well, landing behind the Chinese paras and taking the town of Anantnag (4214).
In combats the Indians launch three attacks. Near Ferezopur the Indian 33rd armored continues its counter attack, getting a retreat result on a Pakistani infantry division, sending it back toward Lahore. The Indians know they have to hold Udhampur, so the powerful 1st armored division and other units counter-attack against the damaged Pakistani XXX corps, pushing it back toward Trikuta-Nagar with a -/1R result. Near Jammu the Indians try to break through to the almost surrounded Indian 26th Infantry division in Jammu. The attack by two divisions of XVI corp goes in on the 7 column, but only manages a 1/1 result.
Overall results are "meh", but the Indian side now at least feels like it can start getting some turf back.
A few key hexes change hands. The Pakistan XXXI and II corps finally clear the nuke/airfield hex in 1620, netting +6VP in the process. The Pakistan X corps also finally takes the border town of Uri (4308) in Kashmir, finally opening up the best ground route into the valley. Russian paras secure Anantnag (4214) in Kashmir and the Indian II corps retakes the town of Gurdaspur (3020), which helps protect another nuke site nearby.
The Indian XII corps arrives on the left flank of the Indian line, giving some much-needed support. Both sides consolidate their banged up air units, with the Indians consolidating an SU30, Mig29, Rafale, and Tejas. The PRC consolidates two damaged J10s and the Paks do the same with two damaged JF17s.
The dead pile really starts to get ugly this turn, although it has a definite "orange tinge" to it with the Indian losses piling up:
Pakistan/China 63 + 21 = 84
India/Russia 50 + 6 = 56
Thanks to taking out two nuke sites, the Chinese and Pakistanis surge ahead and score enough for another initiative turn, but are 7 points shy of getting their first auto-victory roll.
Overview of the situation on the three main fronts, end of Turn 6.